Frequently-Asked-Questions

Tax Compliance FAQ

Compliance is mandatory. Best get it right.


Tax Compliance

Tax Compliance in New Zealand relies on a self-assessment system. This means you are responsible for calculating and filing your own tax returns. If you fail to do so, or do so incorrectly, there’s a chance no one will ever know – or there’s a chance you’ll be caught and face significant financial penalties. Not knowing your responsibilities is no excuse.

But you don’t have to do this yourself – for a pretty reasonable annual fee, you can hire a professional to take most of the work away from you, eliminating the risk of accidental misstatements or failure to file.

Our tax compliance services comprise the preparation of financial statements and income tax returns for individuals, companies/LTCs, trusts and partnerships.

This includes the identification of appropriate tax deductions and suggestion on how to best maximise deductible expenditure.

By some accounts, 90% of property investors in New Zealand own 1-3 investment properties. Our client base reflects that, with many “mum and dad” investors with one residential rental, through to those living on the earnings from their significant portfolios.

… And because I know you’re wondering, the IR5 doesn’t exist anymore. It was for wage and salary earners and was abolished when PAYE was improved circa 1999.

​We only serve people in the property industry, but if you also have a small business we can look after this too. If there’s a lot of complexity we can find you the perfect business-specialist accountant, and do our best to keep your property work.

AAT Accounting Services utilise an online client records software called FileInvite. Once per year, you will be sent an invitation to provide your annual records, with a variety of sections with explanations of what to upload. The FileInvite request should be used to upload your records direct to our system, but if you’re not comfortable using it, it can be used as a checklist for you to pull your records together manually and provide via other means.

To some extent this will depend on what sort of activity you have been undertaking, as a property development business which operates with staff and inventory/work in progress has a lot more complexity than a small residential property investor with one or two properties. However, all clients will need to provide at least the basics:

  • The information about what has happened during the year
    • A full financial year (usually 1 April to 31 March) transaction listing from the operating bank account – usually an Excel/CSV file exported from online banking, but could be a manual spreadsheet with transaction analysis.
    • A transaction listing for any mortgages/loans that relate to the business, for the same period.
    • It can be helpful to avoid queries and confusion if you also provide a note for any transactions that aren’t clear from the bank description
  • A listing of expenses related to the business or rental property that were not paid from the usual rental account – like a private bank account or credit card
    • Full private bank statements are not required, but without a listing of expenses paid privately, these expenses can’t be claimed. For example, many people have their business/rental insurance grouped together with their private home insurance payment – these details need to be split out and provided separately.
  • Details of any legal invoices paid during the year – for property investors this includes the full legal settlement statements for any property purchases, sales, or refinancing activity
  • For landlords – details from your Property Manager
    • Annual summary statement from property manager for all rental properties.
    • Statement for the month of March for all rental properties.
  • For businesses – details of your GST workings, creditors, inventory,

Making use of Xero accounting software can simplify the process of providing records significantly, greatly reducing the amount of information you need to provide each year by automatically (and securely) pulling transaction records direct from your bank.